Nov. 29, 2017
When Heidi Mercer entered Lake Orion Community Schools more than 21 years ago, she was interested in helping.
As a special education teacher, that came naturally to the role. More than two decades later, now the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, her impact has expanded, and continues to be recognized at the state’s highest level.
Mercer is being recognized as the state’s 2018 Michigan Science Teacher Administrator of the Year, chosen “for dedication to and support of science education in your school district and community, and for being an excellent role model for students and teachers,” according to the organization.
She will be honored at the 2018 Michigan Science Teacher Association Conference on March 2, 2018 in Lansing during an awards dinner.
"What impressed the committee about Heidi was her belief in and commitment to the NGSS and the hands-on discovery methods for teaching science," said MSTA Awards Chair Marlenn Maicki. "She has empowered the teachers in her school district while providing them time and resources to develop curriculum and improve their own teaching and learning. Heidi demonstrated her own personal involvement in science, from attending training herself to follow-up in the classrooms. Her goals for the district are admirable. What teacher wouldn't be thrilled to have such a role model and supporter? We are looking forward to presenting this award to Heidi Mercer at our conference in March."
A 1996 graduate of Central Michigan University who also attained a 1999 Oakland University graduate degree in educational administration, Mercer has steadily risen through the district.
She began her career in special education at Waldon Middle School and rose to assistant principal after four years, principal for more than six years before entering her current assistant superintendent position in 2008.
Though the department title has changed over the years – from Educational Services to Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Technology to the current Teaching and Learning – Mercer has remained the constant presence as the longest-serving central office administrator.
“She is passionate about what she does, she is dedicated, she is the type of administrator that when she takes on a position or a job or an assignment she never has to be checked to see if it gets done,” LOCS Superintendent Marion Ginopolis said. “She is thorough from beginning to end. She’s an ideal leader in her field, not just as a member of Lake Orion school district but across the county and state.”
She is the standard in many areas of curriculum and colleagues say that much of Lake Orion’s reputation as a visionary district is due to her foresight, always with an eye on the future.
In 2015, she received the service award from the Michigan Association for Media in Education award, recognizing her tireless influence, support and commitment to the district's school library program and its key role in providing the best education possible to our students.